Native Plant Offerings at Gowanus Nursery

[Updated 2007.03.28 13:00: More notes, and started adding references.]
[Updated 2007.03.27 13:00: Added more notes, comments and links.]

I'm looking forward to the re-opening of Gowanus Nursery this Saturday. I really liked their old location on 3rd Street (I think it was) in Gowanus. Now they will be on Summit Street in Red Hook.

Their Web site indicates they will have the same great selection they had at their old location. Here are all the plants listed under Perennials, Native Species, on the Offerings page, along with some of my notes and comments.

  • Adiantum pedatum, Maidenhair Fern [My favorite fern, unlike anything else. I established a large colony of it in Garden #1 in the East Village.]
  • Amsonia hubrechtii 'Blue Star', Blue Milkweed
  • Arisaema draconitum Green Dragon
  • Arisaema triphyllum, Jack in the Pulpit [I grew this in Garden #1. It's one of my favorite wildflowers.]
  • Aristolochia durior, Dutchman's Pipe [Seems miscategorized, as this is a woody vine, not a perennial; dies this really grow back 30' in one year? Correct botanical name is A. macrophylla, "big leaf", which is certainly is. NYFA lists this as "Not Native" to New York state, with distributions in eastern Long Island and scattered upstate counties. I want to grow this up the side of our Victorian house. References: NYFA:150, PLANTS:ARMA7]
  • Asarum canadense, Wild Ginger [I grew this in Garden #1. Another favorite. Its foliage is its main garden contribution. I find the flowers interesting, but they're hidden beneath the leaves.]
  • Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed [It's sooo orange, this plant just makes me smile.]
  • Asplenium platyneuron, Harts Tongue Fern [A non-ferny fern, beautiful glossy green smooth leaves, it's a great foliage contrast for other shade plants.]
  • Caltha palustris 'Multiplex', Marsh Marigold [double-flowered]
  • Camassia cusickii, Wild Hyacinth [Often available from bulb vendors.]
  • Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern Sea Oats [A native grass.]
  • Dryopteris erythrosora, Autumn Fern [There are several native Dryopteris, but this one's a Japanese species, not native. Nevertheless, an excellent shade plant, it doesn't go brown at the first touch of drought. I grew this in Garden #1.]
  • Erythronium americanum, Trout Lily/Dog Tooth Violet [A sweet ephemeral - it goes dormant in the summer - this is in the Lily family.]
  • Eupatorium 'Little Joe', Joe Pye weed [Butterfly and bee magnets. Presumably this is a dwarf variety. I prefer the tall varieties.]
  • Hepatica nobilis, Liverwort [I grew this under the name H. acutiloba in Garden #1.]
  • Iris cristata, Dwarf flag Iris [It's picky about siting. I grew this in Garden #3 and it moved with us. it thrived in both locations. I transplanted it last year and it vanished. Needs light mulch. Its rhizomes scramble over the soil surface, sending roots out and down. It languishes in a level area. It thrives when grown on a slight slope. Wants consistently moist, but not wet, soil.]
  • Liatris spicata, Gay feather [I love the common name, of course. It's also a butterfly magnet. Long-blooming.]
  • Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton', [Trumpet] Honeysuckle [Long-blooming. I grew this yellow-flowering variety of the native trumpet honeysuckle at Garden #2 in Park Slope. It's not as attractive to hummingbirds as the species and red-flowering varieties are, but it's a beautiful plant in flower. I started growing a red-orange variety in Garden #3 whose name I forget. It moved with us to my current gardens and bloomed into December last year.]
  • Matteuccia struthiopteris, Ostrich fern [Soft and feathery, this browns and crisps quickly without steady moisture.]
  • Mazus reptans
  • Meehania cordata [New to me. In the Mint family. Not native to New York.]
  • Mitchella repens, Partridge Berry [A delicate-looking groundcover. I've seen this growing in the wild, scrambling around the roots of hemlocks.]
  • Mitella japonica variegata, Miterwort [I don't know this one, but japonica tells me it's native to Japana, not North America. There are other species of Mitella native to New York state, but none native to NYC or Long Island that I can find.]
  • Opuntia humifusa, Prickly Pear Cactus [I want some of this!]
  • Osmunda cinnamomea, Cinnamon fern [Fiddleheads!]
  • Osmunda regalis, Regal Fern [Needs constant moisture, as it browns easily.]
  • Pachysandra procumbens, Allegheny pachysandra [So much more beautiful than the wretched common Pachysandra.]
  • Polygonatum biflorum, Solomon's Seal [Another delicate-looking but tough woodland wildflower. Grow this in an elevated position so you can see the flowers, which dangle below the stems.]
  • Rhexia virginica, Meadow Beauty [Also new to me.]
  • Rudbeckia maxima, Giant coneflower [Of course I want to know: HOW giant? HOW maxima?!]
  • Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot [I grew a lovely double-flowering variety of this which looked like white waterlilies in Garden #1.]
  • Scleranthus biflorus [I don't know this one either.]
  • Spigelia marilandica, Indian Pink
  • Tellima grandiflora [Native only to Western and Northwestern states, not to the Northeast.]
  • Trillium grandiflorum [A classic wildflower, slow to establish.]
  • Uvularia perfoliata, Bellwort
  • Verbena 'Snow Flurry' [This seems to be mis-categorized as a "native species". North Creek Nurseries identifies this as a hybrid yet also describes this as "Native to US".]
  • Vernonia fasciculata, Ironweed [Good for bees and butterflies.]
  • Vernonia novaeborascensis, Ironweed [More for the bees and butterflies.]
  • Viola pedata, Birds Foot Violet
  • Waldsteinia ternata, Barren Strawberry
Related posts:
  • Drosera, the business Web site of Marielle Anzelone, has lots of plants lists, design tips, and other information for using native plants in New York City gardens.
  • The New York Flora Association Atlas and the USDA PLANTS Database are excellent tools for researching native plants and their distributions and characteristics. They also contain information about invasive plants.

1 comment:

Ki said...

What a great selection of plants esp. the maidenhair fern. We have had several but they keep dying on us. No direct sun, moist all the time, high humidity but can't seem to keep them alive. Too bad we aren't closer or I'd be buying a lot of the plants or maybe it's fortunate that we don't live closer or I'd be broke.